I know the blog has been awfully quiet lately...I am working on a post about visiting the Vancouver Aquarium that I should be able to hit the "publish" button on this weekend hopefully. But what has occupied me this week is the final plans for my big adventure finally were sealed in stone this week...
Here's a hint...
Yep, I'm moving to London! Not permanently (sad to say) but for six months - as long as the British government will let me stay without a visa. Back in the day (1980 to be precise) I did have a five year patriality visa/certificate due to British grandparents and and I had plans. Sadly they never came to fruitation due to a pair of overprotective parents....and me trying to please the parents... but let's not go there... So finally I am doing it and I am beyond thrilled.
It's the right time in my life to do it.. I live in a small apartment (which I will keep as I adore it and don't want to be "homeless" when I come back) and I no longer have a vehicle. I have a monthly pension to pay minimal ongoing expenses here and to help pay for food & transport, etc over there, no heartbroken significant other to live behind, no elderly family members to worry about...I am in good health. There are no strings on me! (to quote Pinocchio!)
Flights are booked and I take off December 10th with a three night stopover in Iceland on the way over and four nights back there again on the way back in early June. The first couple of days will be spent at my favourite B & B in Hampstead Garden Suburb and then I move to South Wembley to petsit for a dog and a cat for approximately three weeks over Christmas and New Years. From there who knows? I sure don't. I am hoping to get at least a couple more petsitting "gigs" especially during the winter months to help out with accommodation expenses. Trust me, this will be done on a strict budget. I am far from rich. I will be booking most of my accommodation through airbnb as not only is it generally cheaper than a hotel/traditional B & B but I can then use the kitchen to cook. (okay let's face it Laurie - probably more like heating up ready meals or savoury pies) Perhaps a quick (cheap) winter getaway to somewhere in southern Europe? Vienna, Germany, Prague, France in the Spring? Ireland? And it goes without saying I will be traveling around the UK and hopefully exploring some walking paths as well. It will all work out.
I've traveled enough to know it won't be a wonderful fun filled time every day. Some days I will get really annoyed (because believe or not there are some things about England that DO piss me off!) and want to get on the first plane home to fix coffee in my own coffee maker and make scrambled eggs in my own pan, call up a friend, etc......I know that. I also know I have to pace myself - this is a vacation but it's also a temporary relocation so I don't need to be racing around like a mad woman each day seeing this and that. There will be some days (preferably cold/snowy/rainy ones) that I will stay in and read, watch telly & catch up with editing pictures, etc. I know I will get lonely at times so I must learn to use Skype to keep in touch with friends and family especially on those "what the hell am I doing here" days. I do know I will have to watch every penny as the UK is very expensive. I have hopes of keeping track of every pence spend...yes, we will have see how long I do that but I do need to keep track of my outgoings that is for sure. That is the only thing I am a bit apprehensive about....the money end of it.
I DO know that this blog should be lots of fun (except on the above mentioned grumpy days so just bear with me and send me some jokes or send me a Facebook message or comment saying "get over yourself Laurie, you're in England"!)) I plan to make this a sort of "day by day" diary but also highlight some of the places I intend to vist or re-visit such as Windsor Castle, Liverpool, Hever Castle, etc. etc. etc. and just getting a day to day dose of what it's like to live in England. And of course lots of photos.
I hope you want to come along for the ride - it's going to be a good one!